Do you Tai Chi?

Tai chi is one of the examples of gentle exercises recommended by the National Institute of Mental Health that may be helpful in coping with stress.

I am very pleased to see that tai chi as a form of exercise and stress reliever is growing in popularity in the U.S. Tai chi, an ancient Chinese tradition, is a noncompetitive martial art known for both its defense techniques and its health benefits.


Tai chi (tie chee) comprises gentle physical exercises and stretching with mindfulness, and has been shown to improve balance control, fitness and flexibility, and to increase energy, endurance and agility. Originating in China, it has evolved over centuries to become a means of alleviating stress and anxiety. Continue reading “Do you Tai Chi?”

The wonderment of it all

Experiencing the solar eclipse on 8/21/17 at Buck Hall Recreation Area, Francis Marion National Forest, McClennanville, South Carolina.  [All photos by JHM, except first one]

Photo credit: Enrique Bravo, Jr. Miami, FL

It was a perfect day. Despite intermittent clouds, we had beautiful weather conditions, lovely people and a total eclipse – the first one visible in mainland US since February, 1979.

USDA Forest Service staff couldn’t have been nicer. “It’s not our event,” said Tammy (on the right). “We’re here to make your day safe and enjoyable. Your tax dollars at work.”

When we arrived at the entrance to the park at 5:00 am, there were already 24 vehicles ahead of us in the queue. We patiently waited.
Continue reading “The wonderment of it all”

Let’s go crabbing…

Mrs. A crabbing off the dock in Buck Hall Recreation Area in the Francis Marion National Forest, McClennanville, South Carolina

“Next to going to church, crabbing is a very important activity for me,” said a warm and friendly woman I met last week in South Carolina. In my excitement of the day, I forgot to get this woman’s name, so I’ll call her Mrs. A.

Recreational crabbing is not physically demanding nor very expensive. A trap or pot, with or without a float depending on your location and/or state requirements, costs from under $10 up to hundreds. You’ll also need bait. Continue reading “Let’s go crabbing…”

Two friends bring joy to others with their music and their presence

Scott and Rick on the deck of McBee’s Bar and Grill, Ogilvie, MN

Three years ago, on another blog, I introduced the ‘Keep Your Brain Active Challenge,’ concept with an aim to encourage others to stay active mentally as well as physically. Although the phrase has not [yet] become a popular jingle, I remain committed to talking about the importance of activity and the positive effects on the brain. Continue reading “Two friends bring joy to others with their music and their presence”

Do You Know Your Blood Pressure Numbers?

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 per WebMD

Most of us know that high blood pressure is a common condition that if untreated may eventually cause health conditions such as heart disease (Mayo Clinic), but how many of us know the following:

High Blood pressure is one of the factors which can increase the risk of Dementia, per study published in The Lancet, July 19, 2017.

Continue reading “Do You Know Your Blood Pressure Numbers?”

A Friend’s Response to My Summer Exercise Challenge

Thanks to my dear friend, Shelley, a fellow blogger, for submitting this humorous response to my earlier posts:

exercise challenge

I remember when……my siblings and I were self-proclaimed masters of the art of hoola-hooping! Not only could we rock the hoop back and forth around our waists, but we could rock, swirl, and twirl it just as well with other limbs, and on other body parts. Oh, yeah! Continue reading “A Friend’s Response to My Summer Exercise Challenge”

An hour or two at the lake

Pedal boating, Como Lake, St. Paul, MN

A gentle breeze blows over the rippling water redirecting its flow ever so slightly – west to east, north to south, and vice versa.

On the lake are boaters, canoeists, kayakers, and standup paddleboarders gliding along at their own speed sharing the water with ducks, fish and algae.

Fishers nonchalantly cast their lines from the wooden pier without regard as to catch or not, while onlookers gaze from the shore at the greenish water or at the blue sky above. Continue reading “An hour or two at the lake”

Stress and your brain


What stresses you out? Did you know that bad stress affects your body and brain?

A few days ago, I purchased a new mobile phone, and as I attempted to activate it, I could feel my frustration level disproportionately increasing with each click. Breathe! breathe! I reminded myself. Then I returned to the store and accepted the offer of assistance from the kind clerk.

This incident is insignificant compared to the daily stresses many people experience each day. Nonetheless, regardless of what one’s personal stress factors are, there’s no debate – stress disrupts our natural biological rhythms and can lead to unhealthy behaviors. Continue reading “Stress and your brain”

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